Read all about it.

No, we’re not talking about Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1976 song, which was covered nicely by Three Doors Down a few years ago, by the way. It’s the infamous maple syrup smell that has wafted throughout Greater New York City at random times over the last 4 years. I’ve caught a whiff of it many times. Usually when I am walking into work. Sometimes, like just last week, the syrup smell was very pungent, in my house in the middle of the night, with all of the windows closed!

Well, apparently, after hundreds of complaints from city residents over the years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally got to the bottom of it. The city and NJ environmental departments tracked the scent (I don’t know how they do that) to a small factory in North Bergen, NJ. The factory was making something with the herb fenugreek, which are seeds that contain an aromatic compound, sotolone, that is also found in maple syrup, so they are sometimes used to produce imitation syrup flavoring.

One might think it is nice to smell maple syrup in the air, that this should mask out the foul odors which have become a punchline for New Jersey. No I say. No. If I wanted to smell maple syrup, I want to be eating a flap jack!